Deprivation of intellectual and spiritual freedom more dangerous than political dependence; Westernization and the intellectual dependence of the intellectuals
The personnel of the Islamic Revolutionary Committees, Qazvin «2»
جلد ۸ صحیفه امام خمینی (ره)، از صفحه ۴۸۳ تا صفحه ۴۸۲
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The long road to the Islamic Republic
Qazvin was also one of the cities where destruction and tragedies took place, more than many of the other cities. You, the esteemed Qazvinis, also experienced tragedies; there was also a lot of destruction in the province. You also gave much help. It makes me happy to see these valiant youth; they are a source of pride to us. I pray to God, the Blessed and Exalted, for everybody's health.
We have been striving for Islam so far, but there are certain things that must be said. It is an Islamic Republic, of course; all of us voted for it. But what should happen has not happened; it will take place later, God willing. The moral decadence that was there in Iran during the reign of the father and son, «3» the corruption that had reared up in the country- and was being spread as `progress', as `advancement', as the `great civilization'- will all take time to be eradicated. The most damaging of all such things was their destroying our workforce; they did not let it grow. Centers of corruption in the cities, especially in Tehran, were many and much publicity was done to entice our children to them. Many avenues of corruption were open to our youth, and spread far and wide in order to drag our children into them. This evil was the greatest of all. It is easier to compensate for material damage than for the spiritual kind.
Deprivation of spiritual and intellectual independence
They gave away our oil; depleted it. Now the oil is there for Iran once again. The agriculture had been ruined, but it can be remedied, afterwards. It can be remedied soon, God willing; it can be done. However, the workforce is important. They ruined it and did not let it grow. They acted in a way in our country as to destroy its human resources. They left behind an outward appearance (of progress) but took the content away. They did all this to make us lose our self-confidence. They deprived us of our intellectual freedom, our spiritual freedom. This was worse than the deprivation of our independence due to which our country was not free. We had lost our morale. Whatever would take place was because of our way of thinking that all our affairs should be directed from abroad. If they wanted to asphalt a road or build one to link two cities, the experts had to come from abroad. They insulted our workforce; they deprived us of our meaningfulness. Anybody falling ill had to be taken to England; even now traces of this are present. The doctors who visit me say that they, themselves, are able to treat these people who are taken abroad; they say that they can cure them. But the people had been brought up in such a way as to be deprived of their self-confidence. Even our freedom to think (for ourselves) was taken away from us. We had become intellectually, mentally and psychologically dependent.
Intellectual and spiritual dependence, the worst kinds of dependence
Such dependence is really deplorable. We can get rid of military dependence within a day, a month. We can expel them (foreign military advisors). Economic dependence can be countered; and in quick time. But mental and human dependence are difficult matters. Because of propaganda, a child is brought up in a dependent way from his early childhood in his mother's lap up to the time he goes to primary school, to secondary school, to university; wherever he goes. He comes to believe that nothing can be accomplished without depending on foreign sources, and that we ourselves have nothing. The general thinking is that even our mindset is not right. Because of this, rectifying the matter is difficult; it cannot be done so quickly. All of us should join hands to rectify the situation so that this dependence is eliminated, thus leading to a country with a non-dependent economy and education. The people themselves should be intellectually free; free in thought, free in spirit. Even nowadays, wherever you go, in the gatherings convened by our intellectuals, you will find the same obsession with the West in what they say; the same words. They say the same things that they used to say in the days of the taghout when they would have their get-togethers. They are saying the same things once again. We have not left behind our dependence and Westernization; nor can we do it so quickly. That spokesman of theirs who is no more- may God bless his soul- had said that all our things should come from England! One of their notables says that all our things should be English. He had so lost his essence; he had become emptied of it; a person outwardly like all others but, in reality, dependent.
The intellectual dependence and Westernization of the intellectuals
We cannot cleanse the minds so quickly of these intellectuals and" liberals" of the things that have been dinned into their heads for fifty, thirty, twenty years leading to their self-estrangement and self-negligence. A new culture is required; a transformative one. Our children, from the very beginning, should be brought up in a culture that is humane, Islamic and independent- a culture that is our very own, and in which our children grow up according to their own genius so that they can take their destiny in their own hands, so that the culture of Europe, of America, etc. is not repeatedly dinned into their ears. It used to be repeatedly dinned into their ears that everything of ours should be from there, all our affairs should be dependent on them (foreigners); even our mentality. Even when we want freedom, it should be of the Western type. We should be westernized. We want a type of freedom that is similar to that of the West. Such an outlook cannot be so quickly dispelled from the minds that have been brainwashed for fifty, forty, thirty, twenty years and, because of which the Western outlook has replaced the Iranian outlook, and the European way of thinking, the Iranian one. A long period of time is required for an independent culture to arise; not a colonial one that had been inculcated into us. They had dictated everything to us, changing our culture inasmuch as all our things are now changed and are now westernized. Even our way of talking is now like that of the West; we use Western names in naming our streets; we use the names of Westerners: Roosevelt Avenue, Kennedy Avenue, so-and-so Avenue. This is" Westoxication". «4» You will not find" Muhammad Rida Avenue" in the whole of Europe. You will not find a" Nadir Avenue" (referring to Nadir Shah, an 18 th century Persian King). Our avenues too are Western! And so are our compliments. Our etiquette is also Western; everything (of ours). Our mental dependence is worse than anything else. At one time, Islam's rule extended over many countries. At that time there was only Rome as well Iran, and these two were more advanced than the other countries. While these two countries were civilized and independent, the others were savage. Then Islam came to dominate them and endeavored to make them all Islamic.
In any case, I wish to thank you the youth for having visited me by which we were able to talk about our problems. There is much of this; much in our hearts. We (successfully) came through the bayonets, the machineguns, etc. Now the pens are against us. The pens have replaced the bayonets! The articles are now firing away at Islam in place of the machineguns. Now we are not the targets of bayonets; we are being targeted by the pens, by the writers, by the intellectuals. We are being troubled by the liberals who do not know the meaning of freedom. What does freedom mean? We are now being troubled by them. I hope that our nation wakes up; our own freedom-loving people also wake up some time and discard their Westernization. They should think about themselves. They should keep themselves independent. Once upon a time, many things used to be exported to all places from Muslim countries; culture would also be exported. Now we are dependent (on foreign countries) for all our things.
May God give you success and make you useful to our country; useful to Islam. You, yourselves, must safeguard your own country. Do not wait for the police and gendarmerie to come and do this. You are the police, the gendarmerie, the army and everything, the country is yours; protect it yourselves.[One in the audience:" Under the aegis of your leadership, your honor."]
May God keep all of you.